[b-greek] Re: the intent of Mk. 14:38

From: Stephen C. Carlson (scarlson@mindspring.com)
Date: Wed May 30 2001 - 19:22:49 EDT

At 03:17 PM 5/30/01 -0700, dixonps@juno.com wrote:
>> Then there's the larger issue of whether PEIRASMOS **ever** means
>> "temptation". But B-Greek readers from long ago know where I stand on
>that one.
>In James 1:13 it says God PEIRAZEI ... OUDENA. In Gen 22:1, however, it
>How can God both PEIRAZEI no one, and PEIRAZEI Abraham? Only if the the
>word has two different nuances: tempting toward sin and testing for
>faithfulness, respectively.

This analysis assumes that PEIRAZEI DE AUTOS OUDENA is a
proposition that James is affirmatively asserting rather
than refuting as part of the same discourse as MHDEIS
in which case it is better to construe APO as a privative
rather than the rare agentive.

Thus, James 1:12-14 would mean something like:

  12 Blessed is the man who withstands testing, because
  he has become worthy to receive the crown of like that
  was promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one
  who is being tested say, "I am being tested without
  God, since God is not to be tested by bad things,
  and he himself tests no one." 14 But each is tested
  by their own desires, being lured and enticed.

This rendering is supported by its context in the first
chapter of James. James condemns the one who claims that
God is not with him when he is being tested (on the false
logic that God cannot be tested nor does God test), because
James 1:5 earlier asserted that God will give wisdom to
those in times of trial. James 1:14-15 returns to the
to the theme that rich vs. poor (cf. vv 9-11), reassuring
the member being tested that the rich (who don't seem to
go through the trials of life) too are being tested by
their own desires. Thus, vv 14-15 is not an explanation
of v 13, but a reminder that even if life is easy, one
is still being tested.

Under this alternative analysis, the putative contradiction
between James 1:13b and Gen 22:1 evaporates along with the
ensuing objection to Jeffrey's thesis.

Stephen Carlson
Stephen C. Carlson

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